Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why I Lead

            As I begin my new journey in administration I begin with high hopes and fears.  There are many questions and concerns growing along the way.  To ease my mind, I decided to join George Couros’s (@gcouros) Virtual Mentoring Program (#savmp) where George has paired over three hundred and fifty administrators from around the world to guide one another through the roller coaster of educational life.  As part of this program he asked us to reflect on why we lead.  So, here it is, this is why I lead…
I lead because there were so many from my past that counted me out!  As I hear stories from leaders that I look up to like Jimmy Casas (@cassas_jimmy) who also struggled throughout his childhood and school, I cannot help but prove the naysayers wrong.   Don’t take this the wrong way…this is the root of my passion, not the tank that drives me.  I love it when I see people from my past because they are floored when I inform them of my involvement in education.  I have to say they deserve this reaction as my past proves their perceptions.
            I lead because I want to see change.  I want to see educators do what is best for students not what is easiest or causes the least amount of work.   I want to push the envelope and encourage teachers to try new things; I want them to think outside of the box.  I want teachers to bust out of the mold and revolutionize their classrooms and schools.  Seth Godin once said, “Fitting in is a short term strategy to get you nowhere.  Standing out is a long term strategy that takes guts and produced results.”
            I lead because I want teachers to use cutting edge technologies/techniques.  As a classroom teacher I tried to think of every possible way to incorporate technology.  I spent countless hours trying to find that one thing that would revolutionize the classroom.   I want to create an environment where teachers are begging for more opportunities to purchase/incorporate technology rather than complaining why it was purchased and allowing it to collect dust in the corner.  I want to create a culture of leaders where every person has a moment to shine.
            I lead because I am passionate and I want everyone to be successful.   I want to have a meaningful relationship with everyone in my building.  I want students, staff, and colleagues to follow my lead and give everything they can every day and know when they leave the building they have accomplished something.  I want a culture of connectedness where students and teachers feel their accomplishments are appreciated and work to build relationships each day. 
            I lead because of a fear of failure.  I have failed many times in my life and these failures have built me into what I am today.  Do not fear failure, accept it, and use it to build a better you.  Work hard and realize if you are not getting better, you are getting worse; in education there is no such thing as staying the same.